Introducing Terra Musica, a new series of story sessions…
Storytelling sessions for 5–7-year-olds and their families come to The Stoller Hall, our world-class music venue, from Sunday 19 November.
Terra Musica, meaning ‘music of the world, is a new programme that will take you on a journey through sound and stories. You’ll celebrate the planet’s diversity and learn about different cultures and histories.
Launching the programme this November is Michael Cretu, a composer and musician from Romania, and Faz Shah, a violinist and beatboxer with Pakistani heritage.
Michael and Faz have been hard at work creating their story and we sat down to talk to them about how it’s going and what audiences can expect…
My name is Michael Cretu, I’m a composer and a double bassist from Romania. I came to Manchester many years ago to study at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). Now, I’m doing work at the RNCM as a visiting Music Director, I have a jazz trio, and I’m the Musical Director of Manchester International Roots Orchestra. I come from a musical family of Roma heritage, which I’m very proud of. We have a long musical tradition dating as far back as the seventeenth century!
I’m Faz Shah, I’m a violinist and beatboxer. I was born and raised in Oldham, Manchester, I have Pakistani heritage, and I’ve done a lot of educational work with young people who are disconnected from live music. I aim to reconnect them with beatboxing, violin, and now with storytelling. I believe I have a unique capacity to bring diverse audiences together in one space. On 19 November, we’re going to be sharing stories with young children and their adults. Michael and I hadn’t decided on the story before we met today, but we’ve mapped out the ideas and structure now and it’s all coming together… Michael will compose the music and I’ll be doing the narrating.
We started by talking about our upbringing and the places that we come from. I was born in Bucharest, and we lived in the Roma quarter – it was a beautiful place, but our house was quite small and so I could never have a pet. My friends had cats or dogs, but I thought it would be nice to have a little pet piglet! So, this is story of me discovering a pet piglet and how we go on an adventure with this piglet and new friend, Jonny.
This show provides a firsthand experience and insight into gypsy-influenced music and gypsy tradition and stories – you’re not going to have that experience anywhere else. The Roma tradition in the musical world and even further afield is not often recognised or given its due.
Often the music that you hear from my home is just a bit of romanticised ‘gypsy violin’, without going deep enough to acknowledge the Roma community and culture.
Sharing this music with a young audience is so important. We’ll be doing two types of music in the show, incidental music and composed pieces. We’re all about having fun with music and giving audiences something to join in with, but it’s good to sit, listen and learn as well so we want to have a good balance of both.
The show is forty minutes in its entirety, it will be interactive, with things for the audience to do and join in with. We can’t wait to welcome people and kick off this new programme at The Stoller Hall, which aims to bring people together and build understanding and compassion.